NPM: Most Like an Arch This Marriage

Taken at Cittaviveka Buddhist Monastery by virunee
Taken at Cittaviveka Buddhist Monastery by virunee

Today’s poem comes from John Ciardi. I love it so much. I’ve heard love compared to many things, but there seem to be fewer metaphors for marriage. What would you compare marriage to?

Most Like an Arch This Marriage
by John Ciardi

Most like an arch–an entrance which upholds
and shores the stone-crush up the air like lace.
Mass made idea, and idea held in place.
A lock in time. Inside half-heaven unfolds.

Most like an arch–two weaknesses that lean
into a strength. Two fallings become firm.
Two joined abeyances become a term
naming the fact that teaches fact to mean.

Not quite that? Not much less. World as it is,
what’s strong and separate falters. All I do
at piling stone on stone apart from you
is roofless around nothing. Till we kiss
I am no more than upright and unset.
It is by falling in and in we make
the all-bearing point, for one another’s sake,
in faultless failing, raised by our own weight.

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